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Published On: Tue, Jul 14th, 2015

NNPC must die for Nigeria to live – El-Rufai

 

 

Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has said that for the country to live, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) “must die”.

El-Rufai, while speaking at the 7th Wole Soyinka Centre for Media Lecture Series, yesterday, lambasted the national oil firm, stressing that he was hopeful that the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would kill the corporation.

The Kaduna State governor called for the setting up of another national oil firm as he argued that the present NNPC would kill Nigeria if it is allowed to continue running as the country’s oil firm.

“If you don’t kill NNPC, it will kill Nigeria,” El-Rufai said.

“We should replace the NNPC with a brand new organization fit for commercialized and corporatized national oil company and new industry regulators.

“This new national oil company should be capitalized once and for all, and then freed to fend for itself like other national oil companies do, seeking its financing independently from the financial markets and paying due taxes and royalties.

“The corruption and nonchalance that hobbled the NNPC are symptoms that its best days are over.

“We should give it a deserved funeral so that a new institution, active and nimble, can promptly replace it.”

According to him, NNPC’s subsidiaries and associated companies can be reviewed, restructured and privatized or commercialized as appropriate consistent with national interest and objectives.

He added that government should review the Joint Venture strategy with the governing principle being to shift the financing and operational risks to the markets and operators, respectively.

El-Rufai said government should avoid owing the oil companies, and should proactively review the terms and implementation of the Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) and concentrate on collecting the royalties and taxes due to it.

“No one is better qualified to do this than the person that formed the NNPC through the merger of the Nigerian National Oil Corporation and the Ministry of Petroleum in 1977, President Muhammadu Buhari himself.

“No one can appreciate the gap between the vision of NNPC’s founding fathers, the beautiful baby of 1977 and the 38-year-old monster it has become than President Buhari.

“Something fundamentally decisive must be done to tame this monster and we must have the political will to make all oil industry transactions transparent.”

The governor said there should be clear rules and processes for licensing, concessioning, procurement and contracting, noting that the existing systems tend to be corrupt.

He said the president had already taken the commendable step of directing that all revenues be remitted either to the Federation Account or the consolidated revenue fund as required by Sections 80 and 162 of the constitution.

He added that the president was clear that oil industry revenues would no longer be treated as some slush fund of the Federal Government.

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